Have you read my books? Then you probably get an idea of how I am to work with. I'm snarky, and opinionated, and honest. I'm not one to blow smoke up someone's ass. If I don't like something I tell the person I'm reading for outright. If you're writing and the people reading your work don't have anything negative to say...you're getting the wrong people to read your work. Because no matter how horrible a friend or editor's notes may feel, it's a million times better than having them posted in a review on a big website.
*waves to Dear Author and my lovely F grade on my first book*
Which brings me to yet another reason I shouldn't be a teacher. Seeing people with such obvious talent making these mistakes is infuriating.
Some of the entries I've read over the years have brilliant marketable series potential, or innovative ideas. But they do some of the things I have to work hard not to do, or I see many of my old mistakes on display in their work. Sometimes they'll even have such a brilliant opening that when the prose crashes and burns, I'm ready to throw the computer.
So can you see exactly why editing is not a career choice for me? LOL!
Do almost brilliant works make you angry too? Please someone tell me I'm not the only freak in the room.
I was listening to an author on a panel discuss reviews quite a few years back. The author speaking said his least favorite reviews were the 3 stars. Why? Because those were the "Meh" reviews. The 1 and 5 stars, unlike the 3 star reviewers, had an emphatic emotional reaction. He was able to connect with the reader in some way.
Which is how I know, right now, I'm reading from a bank of talented writers. I'm very freaking emotional.
If you are thinking of entering a contest, be ready for feedback that will make your story shine. Be ready for people who really care about your work to rip it apart with love. The more passionate I am about a story, the more I rip it to shreds.
And with that, I'm off to mark up another entry with my red pen of death, because this one has so much fucking potential, I can't stand it.
Have you ever judged in a contest? Or are you a teacher who works with others to improve their craft? I envy your patience. And anyone who has ever edited or tried to teach me...I owe you a shot. Hit me up at the next conference.